Stark County judge: Evidence will not be suppressed in marijuana transport caseAlleged evidence against two men accused of transporting about 50 pounds of marijuana through Dickinson, including results of a drug dog search will be allowed in court, Judge William Herauf said during a hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
Alleged evidence against two men accused of transporting about 50 pounds of marijuana through Dickinson, including results of a drug dog search will be allowed in court, Judge William Herauf said during a hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
Donatas Jasiulionis of Seattle and Arturas Teras of Clear Lake, Calif., were arrested in November 2009 after a drug-sniffing North Dakota Highway Patrol dog allegedly alerted officers there was drugs in the vehicle they were in.
Attorneys representing the men argued during hearings last month that the search was not warranted and requested Herauf suppress evidence against Jasiulionis and Teras.
A major argument by the defense’s witnesses was the Highway Patrol dog, Sadie, allegedly did not respond the way she is trained to when drugs are present. However, other witnesses contended the officer knows the dog’s behavior and she was allegedly acting like she wanted to alert officers to drugs.
Herauf sent copies of his order to attorneys involved in the matter Monday.
“After review of all the evidence concerning Sadie and the interpretations of all the experts as to what Sadie is trying to communicate, it appears as though her behavior is consistent with her being in the presence of narcotics,” Herauf stated in the order.
Other arguments made by the defense were that Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Holding Eagle may have stopped the wrong vehicle and that it was constitutionally inappropriate to allow the dog to run around it.
Holding Eagle testified he pulled over the correct vehicle and Jasiulionis seemed nervous and gave a lengthy, unrelated response to a question.
“… I find there is sufficient probable cause for further detention of the defendants and for search of their vehicle,” Herauf stated in the order.
Teras and Jasiulionis were scheduled for a pretrial conference Tuesday.
However, Teras’s attorney Mary Nordsven said she did not receive Herauf’s order or a plea offer by Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning until Tuesday morning.
“Under the circumstances, I would suggest that we move it to the next (scheduling) cycle,” Nordsven said.
Herauf agreed, adding it will likely be in three weeks.